Windows 8 App Store
While the official name seems to be Windows Store, it is a no brainer that the initial set of applications will be targeted to Windows 8 only and will be Metro apps. Though very similar in concept with the existing Phone 7 Store, it is a different store as the apps built for one aren't automatically available on another due to different programming platforms as of now. With Apollo some of this stands to change.
Details of the new store have started to make appearance on the new Windows Store blog. Prior to the store's launch, MS is attracting people to build initial set of applications that can be deployed on the store. The first round of contests is already over and list of winners is awaited.
In our paper on adoption of Windows 8 we had talked about initial penetration to be in tablet market. Looking at the kind of categories open for the initial application building for the store, this seems to be getting confirmed. While MS says that the store will be a good way to publish your applications for everyone, it would work very well with direct end consumers and we have seen success of such market places earlier with iTunes and Android market place and the slowly catching up Phone market place. What remains to be seen is how this will work in Enterprise space?
It is unlikely that enterprises will open up access to the market place for installation of applications on machines in their network. While some of this is obvious security and data integrity concerns, another aspect that isn't quite clear is how application purchase will work for enterprises. Typically enterprises negotiate a volumn license agreement with application vendor. It will be interesting to see how this part of the story will evolve.
Windows 8 with its new appstore however does poses some more questions like are we nearing the end of PC era? The focus does seems to be shifting more and more towards smart phones and tablets. Except for specific application development needs, will the rest of the population eventually move away from desktops and laptops? There is an increased interest in "bring your device to work". The showstopper primarily again is security of data. There are innovations happening which allow creation of official and personal environments and both environments are totally isolated. Will innovations like these get speeded up so that employees don't have to carry multiple devices with them, one for official needs and one for personal needs? What are your views? Do share.